We set off, towing our trailer, across the Forth Road Bridge. We used to have a caravan that we towed merrily all over France, so you’d think we would be confident towing a small box trailer behind Holly the Huge… wrong. The problem is that the trailer is so small and the van so large that we can’t see her in our big van mirrors. There is also little or no impact on Holly’s big growly 3-litre engine to remind us that the trailer is there so we could easily leave her behind and know nothing about it for miles and miles. Of course she’s hitched on properly but bowling along the motorway we find ourselves imagining the trailer flying free, overtaking us in the outside lane at 90 miles an hour and frightening huge truckers into submission. Either that or she could be lying in a crumpled and smashed heap with our golf clubs and bikes mangled on the hard shoulder.
But fret not … we have the solution. We recently treated ourselves to a swanky new Bluetooth radio/ multi media player with a powered screen that appears like magic from its neat little frame. One touch of a button and this wonderful bit of kit gives us the image from the reversing camera even when we’re going forwards. How clever is that? We bought it from Skidz, a specialist vehicle audio company in Falkirk who offered to set it up so that we could use it like a rear view mirror. It is fabulous! Not only that but they sold us a demonstration model for half the normal price so thank you Skidz on two counts. We are seriously impressed and much relieved.
Balbirnie Caravan Club site is our chosen home for the Easter weekend. It’s a smallish site in Balbirnie Park, Markinch – 400 acres of parkland to entertain small dogs and newly upgraded showers and toilets to delight two humans. Just perfect after 10 days of using our own facilities.
Things that have thrilled us here are as follows:
- Standing in the shower for as long as we like
- Doing three loads of washing and drying
- Discovering the small but pleasant delights of this little town
- Ordering a coffee and scone in a local coffee shop and finding that the scone was served with jam and cream
Sources of ambivalence as follows:
- Fabulous country park but Poppy who is in full scenting mode a) refuses to come back when called and b) finally returns exhausted and covered in mud
- There is no wifi on the site and I’ve nearly used up all the data allowance on my phone
Looking on the bright side however:
- We have entertained the neighbours every day bathing Poppy in a bucket
- The local pubs and coffee shops have free wifi – ah well … needs must and all that
I need to complete a tale from the previous post. Mr. Grumpy, who yelled at his wife for not parking straight turned out not to be Mr. Grumpy at all – he had a serious hearing impairment. I discovered this when chatting to him by the bins. I was trying to explain to him why I was head down, bum up, in the recycling bin (I’d accidentally thrown something away that I shouldn’t have) and he replied to me so loudly I was almost driven into the bushes by the blast. Not only that but his reply made me realise that he hadn’t heard a word I’d said. He turned out to be a nice man. Full of advice and information that took quite some fortnights to impart and rendered me frozen to the spot clutching my hard won if tatty receipt from the bin. If I’d known in advance I would have put on my coat, hat, gloves and thermals but I wasn’t expecting a full blown one sided, kindly but very long conversation.
When he’d finally finished his tale he said “Must go, can’t stand here chatting all day.” By then I knew all about every site in Southeast Scotland; his grandchildren; how long they spent on the Internet; the dangers of spending too much time on the aforesaid and the fact that he and his wife were free to travel as much as they wanted. To be honest I was warmed and encouraged by his chat despite being frozen by the cold wind whipping round the bins. He couldn’t have been less than eighty and he was still out there having fun in his caravan. “Lang may your lum reek” as they say round here.
So, back to Fife. The site here is full. That’s because it’s the Easter weekend and caravanners traditionally set off for the first of their travels at this time. It has a friendly buzz about it with a lot of kids and dogs, bikes, runners, parents and grandparents and a massive variety of rigs.
Opposite us is a huge caravan with a truly enormous awning. Watching that going up was a lesson in precision and efficiency. They worked like a well-oiled machine and the thing was up in no time. I must confess to a little disappointment. It’s much more fun when they get wrapped up in the awning fabric and use the wrong pole so that one corner is only 3 feet high.
We’re here for five nights before returning to Penicuik to swap accommodation with son Adrian, Rachel and wee Cara. They get a wee trip in the motorhome and we get a few days in a house to enjoy sitting on a sofa, using their facilities and catching our breath before the next phase of the adventure.